Supercomputer Titan to get world’s fastest storage system

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Posted April 18, 2013
Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Officials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have announced the selection of the Spider II data storage and retrieval system from DataDirect Networks (DDN) to replace the existing system on the Titan supercomputer. They say it will give Titan the fastest such system in the world.

The Titan supercomputer (built by Cray Inc.) on the ORNL campus was named the fastest in the world in November of last year, and currently still holds that title. Adding the fastest data storage and retrieval system will increase the entire computer’s computational efficiency.

At the heart of Spider II are 36 SFA12K-40 hardware devices—each capable of handling 1.12 petabytes of data. Together they will allow Titan to move 40 petabytes of data at 1.4TB/s. According to ORNL, that’s equivalent to the amount of information in books stacked high enough to reach the moon. The system will have 20,000 disk drives to hold all that information and will use Lustre, the open source file-system software. In contrast, the current system is able to manage 10 petabytes of storage, running at 240GB/sec.

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